How to help your team move forward
Posted by Kim at November 5th, 2012
In the book Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, Dan and Chip Heath identify change through a fun analogy:
In our lives, we have three factors at work in the process of change. We have the circumstances, the elephant and the rider.
The circumstances might be dire - like a sinkhole in the middle of the Sahara, or they might be annoying, like your competition just got a new product. There are times that we as leaders can help effect change by controlling the circumstances, and there are times that we can't.
The elephant and rider are inside the entity to be changed. This might be a person or organization. The rider is the know how. For instance, we know we should lose weight, and we know how to get it done - eat less, exercise more. The elephant is the "want to". No matter how much you control your eating and exercise, if that elephant decides to go for the ice cream, there comes a point when the rider is just holding on for dear life.
The trick is to convince the elephant so that your "want to" works with your change instead of against it.
This last week, a wise friend pointed out that helping people move forward often means that you need to identify with them why they don't want to be where they are any more.
Put another way, change is first knowing what you are letting go of and letting go of it. (from William Bridges)
If change is something you struggle with on a personal level, this might help:
This week, identify with your team what your circumstances are.
Then, with your team identify why you need to move forward.